Megan Gimmen is pursuing an MD at Harvard Medical School. Megan graduated as valedictorian from the University of Guam with a B.S. in chemistry, a B.S. in biology, and a sociology minor. As a three-year National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded BUILD EXITO Scholar, she studied health issues in Micronesia, her home region in the Pacific Islands. Specifically, she examined the decision-making processes of women seeking breast cancer screenings and the behavior and physiology of human spearfishers.
Megan spent her college summers as a two-term NIH intern in Dr. Jennifer Lee’s lab studying alpha-synuclein, a key protein implicated in Parkinson’s disease. Recognizing the need to create accessible and sustainable opportunities for fellow Pacific Islanders interested in science and medicine, she co-led efforts to establish an annual STEM Conference in Guam, a mock interview service, and an ongoing pre-medical mentoring service. She also served as the President and Vice President of organizations that supported Guam’s students interested in advanced degrees in science and medicine, respectively.
Outside of school, Megan has co-founded Amplify, a service organization dedicated to empowering community changemakers in Micronesia. Prior to HMS, she served as a Johns Hopkins School of Medicine post-baccalaureate researcher in Dr. Seth Blackshaw’s lab where she studied nervous tissue disease disrupting the retina.
Megan is interested in improving indigenous Pacific Islander medical access and representation, understanding neural disease, and creating sustainable system-wide interventions in partnership with communities experiencing health disparities.